Wenzhou noodle restaurant closes; what’s next for historic Japantown building?


The year started off on a disappointing note for fans of Wenzhou Fish, Noodles & More who learned that the restaurant in San Jose’s Japantown closed its doors after just 16 months. First-time restaurant owners Max Soloviev and Carol Chen said the difficulty of running the business impacted their family life with their two young daughters much more than they expected, and they decided to re-prioritize.

Wenzhou opened in August 2016 in a historic building on North Sixth Street that was probably built in the late 1800s and began life as a Japanese boarding house. It was later a Chinese restaurant, which thrived in Heinlenville — San Jose’s Chinatown — and last served as a Cuban restaurant before Soloviev and Chen purchased it in 2009.

They set about restoring the building in 2014, a process that took considerably more time than they expected and required them to put $2 million into the project. So the couple is hoping to find a new restaurant to move in. “We will lease the space and try to sell the business to someone who, as we think, have high chances to survive,” Soloviev said in an email. “It may not be Wenzhou anymore.”

Chen said the ideal candidates would have a good experience in the restaurant business, as well as a respect for the history of the two-story building. “Our restaurant was originally part of Chinatown which is now more known as Japantown,” Chen said, “and we feel that if someone could take it to the next level, e.g. upscale fusion cuisine style, he or she would have high chances to make the business grow and help us maintain this beautiful landmark.”

Interested? Contact them at wenzhounoodles@gmail.com.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

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